Time for a Review
I took a motorcycle riding course two years ago. I learned a lot of really good stuff. Good because it keeps me from crashing. One of the most important rules is to look “through” the curve, because the principle is – you go where you look. You can’t let your mind wander when you are riding. Well, you can, but if you do then your bike is going to wander too. You need to look as far ahead in a curve as you can and that will define the arc of your path as you go through. That’s a bit simplistic, but in a nutshell, that’s it.
Every spring when I take the bike out for the first ride, it takes a bit to review and remember all those principles. Really, it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to review the course manual from my class every spring to brush up on the basics. That could save some real trouble.
We all need to review what we have learned about abuse, and we need to review it pretty regularly. Remember, we are dealing with a really sneaky, deceptive creature here and if we aren’t careful we can get drawn back into the fog of that deception. Today I began to re-read George Simon’s great book, In Sheep’s Clothing, which is about covert-aggression. Listen to this fantastic observation Simon makes:
“What our intuition tells us a manipulator is really like challenges everything we’ve been taught to believe about human nature. We’ve been inundated with a psychology that has us viewing people with problems, at least to some degree, as afraid, insecure or ‘hung-up.’ So, while our gut tells us we’re dealing with a ruthless conniver, our head tells us they must be really frightened, wounded, or self-doubting ‘underneath.’ What’s more, most of us generally hate to think of ourselves as callous and insensitive people. We hesitate to make harsh or negative judgments about others. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe they don’t really harbor the malevolent intentions we suspect. We’re more apt to doubt and blame ourselves for daring to believe what our gut tells us about our manipulator’s character.”
Now, go back and read that paragraph about 10 more times! I have noticed in myself and in other victims I talk to that we easily tend to regress into the deception, especially if we continue to be in contact with the abuser. How nice they can seem. And yet, be honest — your gut still tells you the truth. You have spiritual and emotional heartburn whenever you are around them. Feel the burn! Don’t deny it. It’s there for a reason.
So, what has been your favorite, most enlightening book or other resource that opened your eyes to abuse in your life? Go get it, blow the dust off it, and review it. Because you can be sure that in most of our situations, another examination is coming our way and we need to be ready for it.